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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Anxious About My Comp And Pen In Three Years


IconicX

Question

I am 100% SC based on a mental/mood disorder. I won my award 2 years ago. At that time it was stated in a letter sent to me that I would be re-evaluated in 5 years. I have stayed in treatment these past two years through the VA. I am prescribed three psychotropic meds for my mental/mood disorder that I get also through the VA. A fellow SC disabled vet and friend and I have decided to retire to Thailand at the same time. I don't want to jeopardize my SC comp benefits in the up coming Comp and Pen exam in three years through not appearing to be in treatment and on meds. I plan on seeing a pysch in Thailand as I need my meds. Will I be able to use this medical evidence from Thailand as proof of my continuing disability? What should I expect at this exam? I am 54 now and should be 57 at the time of the C and P. Are there any suggestions on how to be prepared considering I mostly will be in Thailand. Will I get my P and T rating at that time if all goes well and have no future exams? My friend that is going there with me he got his 100% SC for PTSD a few months ago and was sent a letter (not the award letter but after) stating that VA now considers him P and T and is scheduled for no other future exams. I hear that that is because he was over 55 when he was rated. Is this true? I know I am asking a few different questions but I think they are related to Comp and Pen exams. I don't want to do anything by moving to Thailand that would foolishly effect my benefits because I really need them as I can not work. And as we know documentation and perception from the examiner's viewpoint is everything. Any ideas, input, suggestions, cautions, warning of pitfalls, or anything that comes to mind that can inform my decision will be appreciated.

Edited by IconicX (see edit history)
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My friend that is going there with me he got his 100% SC for PTSD a few months ago and was sent a letter (not the award letter but after) stating that VA now considers him P and T and is scheduled for no other future exams. I hear that that is because he was over 55 when he was rated. Is this true?

Below you will find the answer to the over 55 question but also note what I bolded, underlined and italicized in the first paragraph of 38 CFR 3.327. When it comes to the VA the word permanent is a misnomer as they can elect at anytime to review any claim.

If a vet has been at 100% for 20 years and over then my understanding is they cannot be reduced.

I am searching for verification of that in VA rules right now to ensure I am correct in my belief. I believe if you read 38 CFR 3.95(b) it states this.

38 CFR 3.327 - Reexaminations:

(a) General. Reexaminations, including periods of hospital observation, will be requested whenever VA determines there is a need to verify either the continued existence or the current severity of a disability. Generally, reexaminations will be required if it is likely that a disability has improved, or if evidence indicates there has been a material change in a disability or that the current rating may be incorrect. Individuals for whom reexaminations have been authorized and scheduled are required to report for such reexaminations. Paragraphs (b) and © of this section provide general guidelines for requesting reexaminations, but shall not be construed as limiting VA's authority to request reexaminations, or periods of hospital observation, at any time in order to ensure that a disability is accurately rated.(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

(b) Compensation cases--(1) Scheduling reexaminations. Assignment of a prestabilization rating requires reexamination within the second 6 months period following separation from service. Following initial Department of Veterans Affairs examination, or any scheduled future or other examination, reexamination, if in order, will be scheduled within not less than 2 years nor more than 5 years within the judgment of the rating board, unless another time period is elsewhere specified.

(2) No periodic future examinations will be requested. In service-connected cases, no periodic reexamination will be scheduled: (i) When the disability is established as static;

(ii) When the findings and symptoms are shown by examinations scheduled in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section or other examinations and hospital reports to have persisted without material improvement for a period of 5 years or more;

(iii) Where the disability from disease is permanent in character and of such nature that there is no likelihood of improvement;

(iv) In cases of veterans over 55 years of age, except under unusual circumstances;

(v) When the rating is a prescribed scheduled minimum rating; or

(vi) Where a combined disability evaluation would not be affected if the future examination should result in reduced evaluation for one or more conditions.

© Pension cases. In nonservice-connected cases in which the permanent total disability has been confirmed by reexamination or by the history of the case, or with obviously static disabilities, further reexaminations will not generally be requested. In other cases further examination will not be requested routinely and will be accomplished only if considered necessary based upon the particular facts of the individual case. In the cases of veterans over 55 years of age, reexamination will be requested only under unusual circumstances.

Cross Reference: Failure to report for VA examination. See Sec. 3.655.

Edited by USMC5811 (see edit history)
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